20 November 2009

Over the Hump


Next week we only come in on Monday and then we break for Thanksgiving. Thank goodness it's almost here. The professor has to shorten the class on that day as well (to attend a board meeting), to about an hour instead of the usual 3 hours, so that's even better news. ;)

This past weekend, Takeshi took me by a small Vietnamese/Asian store I had found online a while ago. He had already been there, but I was itching to see what was there myself. We rode our bikes there, and it was totally in an area of the city I had not been in. Go figure, since I don't get out much!

This place was bigger than the teeny-tiny Korean-mart we usually go to, but mind you, it's no where as big as a regular grocery store. But still, I was excited to browse through everything there! And lo and behold I found something to be excited about - they have natto there! I almost did a little dance in the freezer aisle when Takeshi noticed the familiar Japanese packaging. Soooo I bought a pack, and have it sitting in the freezer because I want to make it last. There's no way I'm biking all the way there and back all the time, just to pick up natto for $2.50. So, it cheered me up, knowing there's some kind of foodstuffs I can find here, that remind me of home. :) しあわせ。。。They did have a good number of Japanese snacks (as all Asian marts do), but I'm not as interested in stocking up on Pocky than I am on good wholesome Japanese cookin'! I'd trade that for some yakisoba, or onigiri any day.

12 November 2009

Holiday Break Now, Please

A project due on Tuesday for our Senior Design class is threatening to make everyone in the class to have a mental breakdown. It's a lot to get done over the weekend; it's comprised of designing about 4-5 pieces of printed material for the client, mounting them as a 2D presentation, and then printing most of them out again, to create 3D forms (brochures, postcards, etc.) so that the client can handle them and look at them. And then for some of us (me included), have another Indian art history exam to study for, which is being administered on the same day as the other project. Well, it's crunch time for most classes, and they're pumping us up with more projects, because we'll have Thanksgiving break soon.

I sent my FIL an email a few weeks ago, just say hi and make small talk. I addressed it to the whole family really. He answered back a few days ago, and added,

"わたしは、すっかりえいごをわすれてしまいました。にほんごのMAILで ごめんなさい。"
(I totally have forgotten English. Sorry for this mail in Japanese.)

Well...I'm not really surprised that he's forgotten the little bit of English he knew, since he has no use for it at all! I am a little sad to hear it though - just means that I will definitely need my Japanese-speaking skills to be able to communicate with him (never mind the rest of the family) when we see them again.

Somedays it's really really hard to not just GO and buy lunch during class days. It's not that we don't have money to do it - we're trying to save as much as we can every month. But since I know that Takeshi doesn't buy "miscellaneous food items" or takeout right now, I would feel guilty if I went and bought a sandwich for lunch or something...

Sitting in the same room with people who are eating pizza or Chinese food is torture somedays. Haha. :) My cooking is not terrible, but their food always smells so much better!

Another gloomy day. Bleh.

07 November 2009


"I want it to snow!" That's what I think about often these days. It's been so cold outside - so I believe that if it's going to be so freezing, then we should have something pretty to look at! But I don't say that over and over again out loud because Takeshi said to me once, "Well, I don't want it to snow because I bike to work everyday..." Oops.

Recently I've learned a group of kanji (from 'My Japanese Coach') which have to do with nature. I'm practicing these kanji this time around:

竹 - bamboo

森 - grove

田 - rice paddy

雨 - rain

山 - mountain

川 - river

I already knew the kanji for mountain, since it's simpler - and the kanji for river which I should be able to do since it's part of my last name now! ;)

I've been making more types of cookies lately. Usually we go through some heavy-cooking phases in this household! Haha. This time I ended making flaxseed cookies, since I bought a package of flaxseeds a while ago, and they've been sitting around. These cookies are very delicious, and have that crunchiness to them - because the recipe calls for a LOT of flaxseed! About 2 and 1/4 cups. This recipe yielded a huge amount, so I also have 2 more "logs" of the dough in the freezer for later. Anyone who wants the recipe, let me know!

For Photography class, we've been getting homework assignments which call for us to take about 80-100 shots! This time around I decided to take close-up shots (not "macro-shots" - thank you Dad) of the different tea leaves I have. The best thing I've learned from this basic photography class so far, is the process you can use in Adobe Photoshop to eliminate unwanted color-schemes in your photos, pumping up the contrast, and really making a photo look 200x better. Anyway, I've been drinking up all of this older tea I've had for AGES, so I can buy other tea finally. I try to get Takeshi to help me with it, but I know he's more likely to think of his beloved coffee first! Here are some shots:

rosemary tea leaves

pu-erh tea leaves

chamomile tea leaves

05 November 2009

Wish I was home instead...

I'm in my Advertising class - well the end of it. Next is my Art History class which goes until 6:45pm. Ugh. It's totally dark when I get out now, from my evening classes, since daylight savings and such. And to boot, it's freezing!

Takeshi and I have been talking more and more about what we'll do after I graduate, since we are planning to move to a bigger city. He flashed a small initial list of places he's interested in, or knows of around the country. At first, we left it open to possibly moving anywhere in the U.S. but the other night we came to a decision to, for now, limit our move to somewhere on the east coast. To make the move all the way over to the other side of the country will take up a lot more time and money. So far, I really liked the idea of moving to San Francisco or somewhere in CA, but I agree that we don't have oodles of money to spend on, going out there to look at possible jobs, possible apartments, just SEEING what the city's like, and then moving everything there. I've started to do my own research and bookmarking of certain design studios in major cities.

Onto to my next class! I wonder what I'll do for dinner.

01 November 2009


The title should be "East of the Sun and West of the Moon". Favorite song of mine, redone by Diana Krall. Look it up sometime, if you like jazz. I'm listening to it right now, while drinking some hot tea. Takeshi's on the floor checking his Mixi account.

Another busy start to the week, but not in a "homework-overload" sort of way. Went to a nearby printing company outside of town, called "Intelligencer Printing Company", for a printing-101 walkthrough tour of the factory-like interior. After I got back from that trip, Takeshi and I jumped a bus to the mall. Bought some kitchen utensils. We're still without a whisk, of all things. Evidently we can go without one right now, since we feel like asking $8-12 dollars for one is a little stupid. Ah well.

Thanksgiving break is growing closer - about 3 weeks from now! My college gets 6 days off.

Every store has begun (or already finished) their personal transformations to have a Christmas theme. Personally I don't usually get into the "holiday-spirit" until December, which I think is very reasonable. When people start mentioning Christmas in October (I've witnessed it), I think that's just crazy...

Been sketching in my sketchbook a little more these days, probably because I want to get away from the digital-art-creation scene for a bit in my spare time. In a strange way, I find that sketching out something totally random, by hand, is very calming at times for me. It's a more personal creation, than even drawing it on my laptop. When I have my holiday breaks, I want to do a lot more sketching and perhaps painting as well. Got to go buy some paints first. Haha!

Man, the weekend went fast. On to another week, and before I know it, it'll be Friday night again! Everyone have a good week!

My jack-o-lantern this year! リラックマ

This may turn into something more! It's a random doodle.